ByteDance is launching a new, AI-powered, free-to-use music production app, called Ripple, with the idea to have aspiring creators make the music for their short-form videos themselves using the app. Ripple has two key features: a ‘Melody to Song’ generator and a virtual recording studio, the MBW reports. The Melody to Song feature lets users sing or hum a melody directly into the app, and Ripple will then expand the melody by generating an instrumental in a variety of different genres.

Can't touch this!
April 26, 2023

Beatly - a platform for your AI music

A tech startup called Beatly has launched what it says is a decentralized platform where it claims "people can put their music up without being taken down". In a post on Product Hunt, one of the platform's founders, Alexander Zwerner, insists that the startup "understand[s] how important it is for this AI music to have a safe and reliable platform to be shared with the world. That's why we've developed a decentralized hosting structure that backups and ensures your music will never be taken down".

59.5% of artists are already using AI to create music, a new research which included 1200 users of music distribution company Ditto Music has revealed. The majority would use AI for mixing, mastering, or music production, MixMag reports. A minority of 28% of respondents said they would avoid using AI in their music-making process

Andy Chatterley of MUSO, a London-headquartered technology firm providing anti-piracy services and market analytics for music companies, discusses the hot topic of the recent "fake Drake" song that appeared on streaming platforms, only to be soon taken down from them.

He's got a few questions about it:

  • "How can we be certain the ‘fake Drake’ track is AI and not a canny marketing tool?
  • If this is indeed AI, [and] if musicians and/or content creators are being used as source data for an AI model, should they be compensated?
  • How do you prove, as a creator, that your work has been used as source material for AI?
  • Who owns the AI in any given case?
  • How do you sue something that has no name, no social security number and no company number?
  • Do you sue the prompt engineer who inputs the command to make the track?"

The MusicREDEF newsletter author shares his thoughts on the latest developments regarding A.I., trying to keep up with the subject: "I can imagine 'a future where Drake licenses his voice, and gets royalties or the rights to songs from anyone who uses it.' But I'm not looking forward to that future, and I’m all for resisting it. I want a future where artists freely use AI (as much or as little as they choose), not a future where AI freely uses artists."

Use it, don't abuse it
April 18, 2023

Dan Runcie: How the music industry can embrace A.I.

After a few A.I.-generated songs that sound like Drake, The Deeknd, and Ice Spice appeared online, the music industry reacted with demands for these songs to be blocked on streaming services. "This feels like Napster in 1999. New technology is here and the industry’s protocol is to resist" - Dan Runcie points out in his memo, suggesting the labels shouldn't fight back, but rather embrace it. "It’s in the superstar artist and record label’s best interest to enable experimentation—as long as there’s a fair way to compensate the artist and rights holder. Their work would be the most-accessed music for generative songs anyway, so why not lean in?".

The Face is wondering whether artificial intelligence is going to take our jobs: "Again, as long as we value human emotion, creativity and connection, there’s only so far AI can take us. Like music, for example. Sure, AI can churn out catchy TikTok songs which makes for genuine competition when it comes to already-manufactured pop tunes. But we value music for the meaning, person and creativity behind it, all of which would be massively diluted if made by robots, who, to put it simply, can’t feel anything. That goes for DJs, too. We happily pay to watch a human spin some tracks in a sweaty club – would you pay to listen to a machine to the same?".

AI Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
April 05, 2023

AI at work: Kanye West dissing Kanye West

AI developer Robert Nickson has recorded a track AI has produced replicating Kanye West's voice in order to diss the rapper. Nickson recorded a verse and had a trained AI model of Kanye replace his vocals. The results are quite impressive, or frightening, depending on how you take it.

Swedish house DJ
March 29, 2023

Spotify’s AI “DJ” explained

Spotify's much-hyped AI “DJ” is now available in the US, serving up recommendations in six distinct ways, Medium reports. It's these:

1. Based on recent listening

2. From your past - not sure yet how they quantify the past

3. Recommended for you - based on recommendations coming from controversial technologies like “discovery mode”

4. Throwbacks - focused on catalog music

5. Editors’ picks - recommendations currently highlighted by Spotify’s artist and marketing teams

6. Trending music - a brand new mode that appears to cater to gen-z style records that are growing in popularity on Tiktok and Reels

hundreds of tech, science, and academic leaders – have signed an open letter simply titled “Pause Giant AI Experiments”, calling on all AI labs around the world “to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4”. In their open letter signatories write: “AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity". Those who’ve signed the letter include Elon Musk (CEO of SpaceX, Twitter, and Tesla, also the co-founder of OpenAI, creators of GPT-4), the co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, Evan Sharp, the co-founder of Pinterest, three team members at Alphabet/Google‘s experimental AI hub, DeepMind: Victoria Krakovna (DeepMind, Research Scientist, co-founder of Future of Life Institute); Zachary Kenton, (DeepMind, Senior Research Scientist); and Ramana Kumar, DeepMind, Research Scientist.

"Today almost every aspect of music-making, from composition to curation, is getting handed off to machines. But 60 years ago, just teaching a computer to sing for 30 seconds was a technological marvel" - music writer Ted Gioia goes to the roots of AI-assembled music. It was  IBM's 7094 computer that was taught how to sing in 1961.

One step beyond
March 24, 2023

Endel: AI is the future of music

"AI’s most groundbreaking role will likely be as a new medium that will shift music into more adaptive, responsive formats" - Oleg Stavitsky of Endel, an AI-powered sound wellness company, writes in his MBW Op/Ed. "Generative AI can provide the next revolution in music mediums. Medium is the message: the way the music is delivered to us today influences the format and music itself" - Stavitsky shares his general idea about the issue, and looks ahead - "AI-powered adaptive functional soundscape version of your favorite music is the future available to us today. It opens up new opportunities for artists to create and monetize their art, for platforms to offer additional revenue streams, and for labels to breathe new life in their catalogs. Best of all: it can peacefully coexist with traditional pre-recorded music that we know and love."

Lil Uzi Vert

A new moment in the developing story of artificial intelligence being used in making music. Complex reports about fans of Lil Uzi Vert and Juice WRLD making full songs out of snippets recorded by the two artists, all made with the help of AI, and of course knowledge about how to use exciting new tool. Fans had taken low-quality snippets they found on the internet - mostly Instagram and Snaphat - and used AI technology to turn them into full songs with much higher audio quality. Songs went viral on Twitter.

Human Artistry Campaign coalition, representing 40 different entertainment industry groups, has drawn 7 principles detailing the need for using the new technology to “empower human expression” while also asserting the importance of representing “creators’ interests… in policymaking” regarding the technology, Billboard reports. Principles are aimed at ensuring that AI developers acquire licenses for artistic works used in the “development and training of AI models”, and that governments refrain from creating “copyright or other IP exemptions” for the technology.

Here they are:

Technology has long empowered human expression, and AI will be no different

Human-created works will continue to play an essential role in our lives

Use of copyrighted works, and use of the voices and likenesses of professional performers, requires authorization, licensing, and compliance with all relevant state and federal laws

Governments should not create new copyright or other IP exemptions that allow AI developers to exploit creators without permission or compensation

Copyright should only protect the unique value of human intellectual creativity

Trustworthiness and transparency are essential to the success of AI and protection of creators

Creators’ interests must be represented in policymaking

March 13, 2023

AI increasingly being used in sound therapy

"Several start-ups are now using AI-generated soundscapes of ambient, downtempo and chill-out beats in hopes of having the same impact as sound therapy on issues like depression, anxiety and dementia" - Hii Magazine looks into the "increasingly growing sector that investors are paying attention to." Berlin-based Endel has an AI system that produces soundscapes to help people focus, relax and sleep. The company raised $15 million in a second round of venture capital financing earlier this year, and has over a million active users. Wavepaths, with Brian Eno as a member, is UK company that makes generative music for psychedelic therapy. It is currently used by hundreds of legal clinics in over 30 countries and has raised $4.5 million in its initial seed investment round last year.'s algorithmic system selects from a catalogue of human-composed melodies, harmonies and chord progressions.

"From a distance, it might look like AI is tomorrow’s songwriter, but that’s not where it’s going. AI can still be about suggestions, acting as a partner in the creative process. It’s not about replacing musicians – it’s enabling them with more quality and more speed and less drag… turning a voice memo into a basic demo, things creators want to be able to do" - Kakul Srivastava, CEO of prominent sample marketplace Splice, says in the MBW interview. "I’m here to make software that is transformational to music creation. I know building tools that unlock creativity is really hard, because I’ve done it. But – it’s never been a better time to do this – we are in a renaissance for creativity with new capabilities coming to life every day. The things creators will be able to do tomorrow, they cannot do today".

Ed Newton-Rex, the founder of the pioneering music-making AI platform, Jukedeck, which he later sold to TikTok, makes an interesting point in the MBW interview about the main benefit of AI for the music industry. Newton-Rex, himself a musician, believes it can increase the value for rights holders - "When you have AI, the music that you write, or that you own, can become so much more valuable, because it’s no longer just one static thing. It can be modified. So maybe a track you’ve written or that you’ve gotten in your library is lengthened to fit a different TV ad, maybe the instrumentation is changed to get the right mood in a video, maybe you change the entire style to fit something totally new. What starts out as one piece of music that [was] set in stone can become this living thing that can be adapted, endlessly. That’s very exciting."

Functional music is defined as something “not designed for conscious listening”, often encountered on popular playlists designed to promote sleep, studying or relaxation. It is estimated that it was earning around 120 billion streams annually (Taylor Swift’s entire catalog did around 8 billion streams through all of 2022), worth over $630 million annually for recording rights holder. Not everybody is happy with it - Universal Music Group chairman Lucian Grainge wrote to staff recently that “great music” is under threat from “a flood” of “lower-quality functional content that in some cases can barely pass for ‘music.’"

"If the courts decide that not enough human input goes into an AI-generated work, then that work cannot be protected by copyright, and then the work will fall into the public domain, meaning that creators would lose their IP protections" - the law expert Barry Scannell points out for the MBW. Last week exactly that happened - "the US Copyright Office (USCO) refused to grant a copyright registration to AI images in Kristina Kashtanova’s Zarya of the Dawn comic (the Work), which used Midjourney generative AI art... This decision potentially has major implications for US creative industries, from music to art to gaming, as it calls into question whether works which utilise (even in part) AI technology can be protected by copyright."

Google launched its AI knowledge accumulator and provider Bard, with Alphabet's CEO Sundar Pichai presenting the new service: "Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models. It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses. Bard can be an outlet for creativity, and a launchpad for curiosity, helping you to explain new discoveries from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to a 9-year-old, or learn more about the best strikers in football right now, and then get drills to build your skills".

An interesting experiment by the Music Journalism Insider - they gave ChatGPT a task to make an interview with itself about music journalism. Turns out, the AI is quite self-aware: "AI tools can extract data from various sources, analyze it and generate articles or reports that can be used to supplement human journalism. However, this doesn’t mean that AI will replace human journalists completely. AI is good at producing basic information and data-driven reports, but lacks the emotional intelligence and creativity that humans bring to journalism."

Artificial Draketelligence
January 31, 2023

Fun: AI generator turns any subject into a Drake song is a funny little AI tool that allows users to create Drake songs inspired by customized or random subjects. The music generator created by allows users to select a topic of their choice, which its GPT-3 will create a song about in the style of the rap star’s own hits. Each generated song will be performed in the voice of Drake and will span one-minute in length.

Music critic and publicist Simon Reynolds gave ChatGPT an assignment - to write an essay in the style of music critic Simon Reynolds that expresses skeptical views about A.I. taking over the role of the music critic. It was done in seconds, Reynolds writes impressed. "The argument itself struck me as averagely intelligent, making entry-level points about how A.I.-generated prose is necessarily deficient in empathy and nuance, and how it would lack the unique and personal perspective of a human critic". The style, or the "voice" of the A.I. was "earnest, plodding, attuned to bland generalities rather than arresting specifics, and irritatingly fair-minded. Not promising attributes for a critic!"

"ChatGPT has no inner being, it has been nowhere, it has endured nothing, it has not had the audacity to reach beyond its limitations, and hence it doesn’t have the capacity for a shared transcendent experience, as it has no limitations from which to transcend... Judging by this song ‘in the style of Nick Cave’ though, it doesn’t look good, Mark. The apocalypse is well on its way. This song sucks" - Nich Cave writes on his Red Hand Files blog about a song the AI made in Cave's style. "Writing a good song is not mimicry, or replication, or pastiche, it is the opposite. It is an act of self-murder that destroys all one has strived to produce in the past. It is those dangerous, heart-stopping departures that catapult the artist beyond the limits of what he or she recognises as their known self. This is part of the authentic creative struggle that precedes the invention of a unique lyric of actual value".

"The real leverage point for AI is cost savings. That’s because the music itself isn’t very good. Sure, there’s a certain novelty factor here—but that will wear off very soon. The real hook is that AI works for cheap, it’s almost like slave labor in the band" - music writer Ted Gioia argues in his latest post about AI-created music. His point for the perfect circle in the text - "that’s how these shifts happen. New tech enters the marketplace as a cheap alternative, and gradually becomes the preferred alternative—because the ‘ears’ of the audience have changed".

Music streaming service Anghami is claiming that it will soon become the first platform to host over 200,000 songs generated by AI, MBW reports. Anghami has partnered with a generative music platform Mubert, whose tech takes samples written by human musicians and sound designers, and then, using Artificial Intelligence, arranges them into finished tracks. Mubert’s technology is being combined with Anghami’s user data and algorithms to create thousands of AI-generated songs. According to Anghami, the service has already generated over 170,000 songs.

An interesting conversation in Wired with the "computer musician" Holly Herndon, who created an AI-powered vocal clone called Holly+ that is, at least theoretically, infinitely capable. “There’s a narrative around a lot of this stuff that it’s scary dystopian. I’m trying to present another side: This is an opportunity" - Herndon says. She recently released Holly+’s cover of Dolly Parton’s 'Jolene' (watch it below). Wired also makes a good point - It’s not creepy. It’s pop culture.

China's Tencent Music has created and released over 1,000 tracks containing vocals created by AI tech that mimics the human voice, Music Business Worldwide reports. One of these tracks, which appears to be called 'Today' has already surpassed 100 million streams, becoming the first song by an AI singer to be streamed over 100 million times across the internet.

Seven boys army can't take it back
October 19, 2022

BTS' publisher HYBE buys voice-AI company Supertone

Earlier this month, HYBE, the company behind some major K-pop acts, including BTS, acquired Supertone, a software company capable of creating “a hyper-realistic and expressive voice that [is not] distinguishable from real humans”. This week, BTS members announced they are about to go to the army to complete compulsory military service. Global News believes HYBE is preparing to fill the coming void with AI-made music. GN also lists other AI-powered music creation software such as AudioLM, Loudly, AVIA, DAACi, Beatoven...

Art if icial
September 19, 2022

Adam Neely: Will AI replace human musicians?

YouTube music theorist Adam Neely wonders what we expect from AI and how might it replace human musicians. He thinks "it's clear that something going to change somehow and something might get lost... but a great deal of other stuff [will get] added".

1 2